All rights reserved. Today, there are distinct language groups spread throughout Australia. Aboriginal Australians are split into two groups: Aboriginal peoples, who are related to those who already inhabited Australia when Britain began colonizing the island in , and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who descend from residents of the Torres Strait Islands, a group of islands that is part of modern-day Queensland, Australia. All Aboriginal Australians are related to groups indigenous to Australia. Humans are thought to have migrated to Northern Australia from Asia using primitive boats. A current theory holds that those early migrants themselves came out of Africa about 70, years ago, which would make Aboriginal Australians the oldest population of humans living outside Africa.
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The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues estimates there are more than million Indigenous peoples spread across 70 countries worldwide, each practicing unique traditions, retaining social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live. Many Indigenous peoples are the holders of unique languages, knowledge systems and beliefs, and possess invaluable traditional knowledge for the sustainable management of natural resources and have a special relation to and use of their traditional land, waters or territories. Ancestral lands, waters and territories are of fundamental importance for their physical and cultural survival as peoples. According to the UN the most fruitful approach is to identify rather than define Indigenous peoples. This is based on the fundamental criterion of self-identification as underlined in a number of human rights documents. But there is great diversity within these two broadly described groups exemplified by the over different language groups spread across the nation. An accepted definition of an Indigenous Australian proposed by the Commonwealth Department of Aboriginal Affairs in the s and still used by some Australian Government departments today is; a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives.
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Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia before British colonisation. The term Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people , or the person's specific cultural group their mob , is often preferred, though the terms First Nations of Australia, First Peoples of Australia and First Australians are also increasingly common. The time of arrival of the first peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. Other estimates have ranged up to , years  and , years BP.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aboriginal. Send us feedback. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near aboriginal aboral abord abordage aboriginal aboriginality aborigine Abor-Miri. Accessed 20 Nov. Keep scrolling for more More Definitions for aboriginal aboriginal.